Muffin magic, 112pp.
by Susannah Blake
Pavilion Books, London, 2009
Cooking on page 64 (32 x 2)
Muffins are a quick and easy treat, and this book is a collection of tasty options for almost every occasion.
I was impressed by the range of sweet and savoury ingredients used—from maple syrup and pecans to spinach and feta.
I also thought it was great that for every book sold there was a donation made to the Battery Hen Welfare Trust. I bought this secondhand so my purchase didn’t make a donation, but I always pay extra to buy genuine free-range eggs.
Page 32 introduces the chapter on kid-friendly muffins. There isn’t a page 132, so I settled on page 64 (32 x 2) and a real temptation in the ‘adults-only’ chapter. I thought it might include alcohol, but it doesn’t.
White chocolate, cherry and macadamia muffins
300 g/10 oz/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
150 g/5 oz/⅔ cup caster sugar
75 g/2¾ oz white chocolate, chopped
60 g/2 oz/½ cup dried cherries
60 g/2 oz/½ cup macadamia nuts
1 egg, beaten
100 ml/3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup soured cream
125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup milk
85 g/3 oz butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Grease or line a 12-hole muffin pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar and sift into a large bowl. Reserve about one-quarter each of the chocolate, cherries and nuts and add the rest to the flour.
In a separate bowl or jug, lightly beat the eggs, soured cream and milk to combine, then stir in the butter. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Spoon large dollops of the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and press the reserved chocolate, cherries and nuts into the top of each.
Bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
How it played out
Sometimes I forget just how quick and easy it is to make muffins. I’ve already made these twice—once for a picnic and then again yesterday for book club at my house. In case you’re interested, this month’s book was Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami. You might have seen the funny yet touching movie Ali’s Wedding, which is based on part of the book.
I used macadamia nuts the first time I made this, but was out of them today so substituted chopped walnuts. I followed the rest of the recipe, using weights instead of cup measurements. Weights are so much more accurate for me.
A lovely quick recipe and a great reminder that you don’t need a boxed mix to make a yummy snack or dessert. My fellow picnickers and book clubbers definitely liked them. That said, I’d be tempted to add a little cinnamon to a future batch.
Also, I found that walnuts and macadamias work equally well. I’m sure you could substitute different dried fruits for the cherries, and plain yoghurt for the soured cream. So go on, try it and let me know! 🙂